Grow Q&A: Stop Telling People To Move To Colorado To Grow Pot!

by Danny Danko

Hey Danny, I recently read your response to Jeremy D from Texas regarding his heat issues. While your advice to cool his temps were spot-on, you then for some reason told him to move to Colorado. What the fuck, man? Why would you do that? Traffic is fucked, the rent is too damn high and the influx of douche-nozzles has been tremendous. Please, for the love of God herself, stop telling people to move here. Keep Texas out of Colorado! – Joe M.

Dear Joe,

Wow! You seem a little mad about the influx of people moving to the great state of Colorado. My advice to Jeremy was based on the fact that he could end up spending years in prison in Texas for doing exactly the same thing he could be making a legal living doing in Colorado.

I understand you may have a problem with the rising cost of living you’re experiencing but try to see the bigger picture. People are moving to Colorado (and other legal states) in order to treat their, or their children or loved one’s, medical issues. Veterans are relocating to heal themselves from PTSD and brain injuries. Growers who have hidden in the underground are now free to ply their trade and come out of the shadows.

In the grand scheme of things, this reefer refugee movement is a great development. Eventually, as more states legalize, the pressure on Colorado (and Washington, Oregon and Alaska) will decrease and people will flock to other places, but for now, some slight inconveniences for a few locals are greatly outweighed by the greater good for our expanding community and industry.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com

(Photo by @DannyDankoHT)

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7 comments
  1. The big problem is the floor is dropping out of the wholesale price. It is becoming impossible to make money even running in the black market these days unless you grow huge amounts.

      1. Unless you’re exporting to the out-of-state market and providing transport as well as product, the economics just don’t compare to pre-legalization days. Growers who made a very nice living at $4K a pound cannot stay in business when the cost have risen as they have plus the wholesale price has dropped to less than half what it was 5 years ago. The only way to keep going is to get much larger and operate at much lower margins. Simple economics.

        1. You really have no idea what you’re yammering about. So word of advice is just stop yammering.

          THOUSANDS of private growers are making 100s of thousands of $$ in Colorado.

          A simple ten light grow will produce 20 lbs per harvest, @ $1800 / lb wholesale. Six crops per year. Do the math, Einstein.

          1. That’s the problem – you don’t know what you’re talking about Donkey. If your business model was a 10 light grow at $4K/lb, you’re not going to put up with a 50% drop in gross revenue while costs are in the $1000/lb vicinity for an indoor grow. For most of the long time growers I know who wanted to stay under the radar, it is either scale up massively or get out of the biz.

          2. “If your business model was a 10 light grow at $4K/lb, you’re not going to put up with a 50% drop in gross revenue while costs are in the $1000/lb vicinity for an indoor grow.”

            Keep yammering.

            Even a 6 light home grow will NET a twenty-something year old barely high schooled semi-slacker nearly $100k / year — cash. Beats working at Jimmy Johns.

            Now what kind of special loser would “get out of that biz” simply because they could have made — or used to make — $200k / year in some prior epoch?

            Production costs for an indoor grow are in the $600 / lb range, otherwise you’re doing it wrong. Production costs for an outdoor grow are in the $100 / lb range.

          3. It was worth it to grow in the black when costs were $75/lb and wholesale was $3000/lb. given the DEA’s attention to the matter (1990ish) (4000% markup). It was worth it to grow semi-legally when production costs were $300/lb and wholesale was $4300/lb (1400% markup) and you could drop a duffle full on the counter at a dispensary and get paid in cash. (2010ish) Keeping in mind that none of those numbers included labor, lost opportunity costs, or doing anything to pay taxes or deal with legal regulation. It is not worth it to grow when the competition IS legal and costs are more like $500-$600/lb. and labor costs and opportunity costs are accounted for (more like 40% margins here) as there are a lot of easier ways to make that kind of money than growing weed with no guaranteed market and large legal exposures no matter what market you sell to. They have succeeded in making the black market unattractive. The legal regulations and capital requirements of running a legal grow ensure that the days of the kind of margins that made it worthwhile to flout the law are over. With the glut, there is no viable market for the kind of margins the old school guy who grew in his basement depended on getting. Besides, back before legalization, people would buy whatever you were selling without asking if it were strain X or Y or Z, they’d take it if it was seedless and green and smelled skunky and be thrilled to pay you $400/oz. Now even high school kids consider themselves weed snobs. Not worth the hassle to be a black market grower in CO.

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